Letters to the Editor, August 16

Aug. 15, 2014 @ 12:38 PM

Accountability for torture

Thank you to The Herald-Sun for printing two good columns recently:  a Virginian-Pilot editorial on Aug. 7, and Leonard Pitts' column on Aug. 9.  Both refer to President Barack Obama's casual admission that “We tortured some folks.”  Excuse me, Mr. President, but this is worse than accidentally stepping on someone's foot or cutting someone off in traffic.  A lot worse. 

Still, admission beats denial any day.  Both column writers view torture as the abomination it is, but the Virginian-Pilot editor, in contrast to Pitts, calls for accountability.  Accountability must start at the top; without it, the risk remains that our country may repeat such horrors the next time we are threatened.

The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence is expected soon to release at least part of its report on torture.  The released document is likely to be heavily redacted, but only if redactions are minimized will the true extent of U.S. torture during the previous decade be made known to the public.  We have a right to know what's been done in our name. 

This knowledge should lead to accountability and restitution to those whose lives U.S. torture has torn apart.  Many were innocent and many still are unable to function normally, due to prolonged, severe abuse.  A substantial number of these men were “rendered” to torture by Aero Contractors' planes, based right next door to us, at Johnston County's airport. 

If you want to see redactions minimized, call the White House line, 202-456-1111, and leave a message.

Joan F. Walsh

Durham

Disappointing sports pages

I would like to give a very hardy second to Mr. Bellmore's disappointment with The Herald-Sun's sports pages. On Tuesday, I had an early appointment and didn't have time to read the H/S and picked up the News and Observer from a rack. Not only was it a much better section, but it had the results of the Bulls double-hitter game and the box score.

This has become typical for the H/S, makes me wonder if their reporters have a 9 p.m. bedtime. The fact they could not get in the results of the PGA tournament on Monday that ended at eight Sunday evening is ridiculous. How can the N&O have all these up-to-date reports and the H/S doesn't? Instead we get a bunch of warmed over by-lines and no current events.

I think I'm like many, many others in that I don't want to read my newspaper on the computer, I want to sit with my coffee early in the morning and have the pleasure I've enjoyed over the past 50 years. You sports section continues to decline in quality and as much as I don't want to, I may be forced to change subscriptions after all this time. Shame on you.

Danny Johnson

Durham